Science, Seuss, Success!..and others things

Let’s start with the Success! The past few weeks I have really been working with Luke on letter recognition and spelling his name. Each night at bed time we sang the Alphabet, went through each letter and looked through his sight words- one being his name. A few days last week, I opened up word on the computer and just had him type his name over and over on the keyboard. He finally focused,  and as promised got himself a happy meal today after spelling out his name and pointing to the letters I said aloud at bedtime last night! He really, really wanted that Lego cup they were advertising at McD’s! 🙂 IMG_20140302_113804_167

Now for the Science…not that it was planned, but both boys ended up studying caterpillars and butterflies at the same time. Luke just loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we have done so many activities with this book! We made caterpillars from egg cartons, cocoons with paper bags and a geometric butterfly with our tangrams!geo butter

plate pillar

Liam was also reading about butterflies and studied the Morpho butterfly first, in the book -Jack’s Insects. The second chapter was on the Monarch butterfly. Here is his pastel of the Morpho.

morpho buttefly

He watched this video of the Monarch Butterfly, then drew up a sketch of the life cycle and read through “An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly.”  We talked about entomology and why the character butterfly in the first chapter swayed Jack into promising not to kill any insects, well..except for fleas 🙂

boook

Homer Price is another book we have been reading together and incorporating lessons with.  Set in the 1940’s in a little town in Ohio -In chapter 1 Homer takes in a skunk as a pet and together the two capture the town robbers! Chapter 2, Homer and his friends buy comic books and end up saving a superhero who ends up in a car crash. Chapter 3,while  in his Uncles Doughnut shop, the machine ends up breaking and making 1,000’s of doughnuts! Homer comes up with an advertisement and saves the day!

own cops and robbers cartoon

own cops and robbers cartoon

facts on skunks

facts on skunks

facts vs fiction on Skunks

facts vs fiction on Skunks

Math: Luke continues with hands on work and counting as much as possible! He recognizes number up to 12 and easily does math in his head. He will see that four papers are on the table and say things like ” Okay mom, we did one paper so far… only three left.” or “Dad’s at work, so only three people are here right now.”

Liam is running a pet store with the Business Math Series from Simply CM. He’s had to keep an inventory, figure out sales tax, add up monthly sales, write out checks and count in some unexpected expenses as well! Very fun series!

your-business-math1

Dr. Seuss Fun!

I read to both boys “Oh, the places you’ll go!”  I asked Luke what he would like to be when he grows up, he said ” A painter!, I ‘ll paint anything people ask me to…..houses, cars, chipmunks, people..food, whatever!”

With Liam we talked about tools you need for success and what success means. How to handle failures, making good choices and traits he thinks are foul vs. successful.

I asked both boys to make a poster of a “Seuss Land” they would want to live in. Luke asked me to make his and he would paint it like a “Painter Guy” and Liam came up with the idea of a “YouTube World” and sketched out a few of his favorite gamers he watches.

IMG_20140302_131322_190

Liam's

Liam’s

Lastly: A few writing prompts to share from Liam. I find funny pictures and Liam keeps a journal of captions he makes up!

2014-02-26 06.05.042014-02-26 06.04.44

The Cricket in Times Square- Elephant Math

The past two weeks we have been reading The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon.  A cricket who finds himself transported from Connecticut to New York’s Times Square when trapped inside a picnic basket.  We follow him through many adventures and meet his new friends along with him.

square  cricket

We live in Connecticut and visited Times Square last year as a family, so after a quick reminder of our trip and watching a video on Times Square, we had a discussion of the two places and the FEEL of them. As Liam gets older I really want him to start connecting with the stories just a little bit more and so we talked quite a bit about how the cricket must feel after coming from a quiet grassy country side to the loud busy city.  I also started a new writing/spelling lesson as we go through the book chapter by chapter. He is keeping a Writing Response Journal. The purpose is to record personal experiences, explore reactions and interpretations, record and analyze. To think about the book and connect literature to his own life.

We are up to Chapter 8 and here are a couple of his entries so far:

“The best Character yet is Tucker Mouse. ”

“I think Chester and Tucker are Friends now. Chester is from Ct.”

“This Chapter is SO FUNNY! I liked Sai Fong.”

Elephant Math:

We are just finishing up our Unit on Ancient India and came upon this great Living Math idea in a handbook I have called A trip Around The World.

Tradition in ancient India called for respect of all forms of life. Asian or Indian elephants are dressed in a small house called howdahs. Many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks are created for these wild animals.  With many interesting facts about elephants we answered some mathematical questions about them.

ele math The bull elepjant stands 9-10 feet tall and weighs approx. 8,00 pounds.

Weigh 5 textbooks and determine how many would equal the weight of one elephant?!

eleph math

The skin of an elephant is about 1 1/2 inch thick and weighs about 2,000 pounds.

How many sheets of paper are equal to the thickness of an elephants skin?

What fraction of the elephant’s weight is its skin?

We ended up meeting fellow homeschool friends at the zoo and seeing the elephants there.

Science:

lightlight reflect

light game

This week Argon was added to the Elements folder. The boys watched a video on how a light bulb is made. Played a game on reflecting light VS. absorbing light and tried it out in the bedroom with a mirror.  Liam drew light bulb and added it into the pocket, then finished the week with an online quiz!argon light pocket

Another fun/busy week! We plan on heading out to meet a small group today for some outdoor games! Enjoy your day!

 

We are Growing! Ancient India&Art and…Puppies

This week’s literature was The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle- always a fan of his books!

seeds

We all sat together and read the story and discussed the seasons and life cycle of a plant. Liam could tell  me the whole cycle and all parts of the plant, so I decided we wouldn’t spend too much time on that in particular and more on growing and planting instead.

Science: Well..I’m sure you guessed! We planted our own herb and vegetable garden!

plantingplanted seed

Liam is also continuing his study of atoms, molecules and states of matter, which went along pretty nicely with the gardening.  He added another sketch in Science Journal -H2O

molecules

We all watched a science video on polymers and everyday science secrets that their grandfather gave them.

A bonus activity: Liam took it upon himself to grab a hammer, rocks and goggles, and cracked open some rocks to examine.  He found a few different ones and then we used them to line the flower beds.

We also did an experiment with molecule vibrations. Which makes a louder sound and why? Liam then drew in his science journal again to record his findings.sci journ

water scie

Math: A focus on fractions and finished up figuring out Elapsed Time. He played a few online math fraction games, one being Flowering Fractions which was fitting! A worksheet on planting word problems, a timed game on double digit subtraction and more time telling.

  Living Math: hands on fractions with “pie pieces”  and counting up and dividing seeds.fractions

Language Arts: Reading a Plant Life Poem, Listening and recording adverbs and adjectives while I read this weeks literature aloud- then completed a cluster all about seeds! For some spelling fun we played Hangman too

seed burst.

A new favorite of theirs is Nate the Great stories on CD for the car. We listened to them as we drove around this week.

Both boy attended a Book Club for homeschoolers this week. Luke listened to an Eric Carle story, followed by a collaborative mural making and then some dramatic play with blocks and home-living toys with other pre-ker’s. Liam was in the older group who led their own discussion on their favorite books, he was apprehensive at first, but then he really didn’t want to leave.

Art: In studying the ancient Indus Valley we took a look at ancient art and what some of the earliest art pictured. We found many cave drawings and many contained images of animals. Liam followed a step by step website and drew the following. (he asked to do two! that never happens) He also made a flower using modeling clay from the image in The Tiny Seed book.

anciet art2

ancient artHe really enjoyed it and I think he did wonderfully!

clay flower

History/Social Studies/Geography: This week began a new look at Ancient India and the Indus Valley. We took a look at the land of the Indus and mapped it out, labeled it. Liam kept an organizer and wrote down information as we came across it in our readings. We read about life, occupations, building and life in the Indus Valley.

 

indus valley

Luke spent a few days playing games,some dramatic play and math all around puppies! He found the book Please, Puppy, Please by Spike Lee in his brothers room and just loves to sit and read it.  He ‘s been very much into dogs and acting out their characteristics! 🙂 We talked about the letter “P” –puppy, had pancakes and pretzels.puppy please

puppypuppy ,askpuppy bingopuppy math

pup wash

Music: This week we continued on Ancient Music and some more of the first Instruments and items used to make sounds. Learning about communicating with drums and played a virtual drum log! This led us into patterns of music and we tried out virtual unifix cubes,  musical fraction bars, counting music and even some Morse Code music! This is a great site- found here.

 

Egypt, Literature and State Government

A busy, busy week around here! We kicked this week off with two new stories- Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel and Blueberries for Sal.  We continued studying Ancient Egypt, with a field trip to the local children’s museum featuring Egypt! Then, Wednesday brought us a trip to Connecticut’s State Capitol and Connecticut’s Old State House.

Language Arts:

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel– we watched the story this week and both boys loved it and continued to sing the songs around the house! I chose this as it went along with our current science topic.

Writing: List of the different types of machines

Discussed: Setting, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax and Denouement

Worksheet: Personification

Copywork: Cursive Writing

cursive

 

 

 

Luke’s story this week was Blueberries for Sal. book

Language Arts: Focus on the Letter B, What sound the Letter B makes and watched a video on the Letter B on Starfall and a video with cookie monster featuring the letter B.

Science: Continuation with Hydrogen and a field trip to the Science Center. Liam received a science kit from his recent birthday, so we took that out and experimented with water and air pressure, trying out different scenarios. Liam also played a survival game in which he had to turn a liquid into a gas in order to clean the drinking water on an excursion!

sciencewatergas liquid solid

 

Music: In focusing on Ancient Egypt, we took a look at Ancient Music as well. Where did music first begin? In Nature! This website features making music with nature- animals, weather and seasonal sounds! They had a blast with this!

Math: Liam continued to work on his multiplication tables. For Living Math we worked off the literature and talked about square polygons and searched around the house to find some. He also drew up a blueprint and we all played Monster Math game. He also tried his hand in an Egyptian Math game placing the time periods in chronological order.egyptmath  Another interactive game was building a pyramid using angles and navigating a boat down the Nile River.

math anglesblueprint

Monster Math:monster math

The winning monster!

The winning monster!

Runner Ups Monster

Runner Ups Monster

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke counted with “blueberries” and used beans in the sensory table with measuring cups and measuring spoons. I used the words- half full, and a whole cup while he filled and emptied the cups. We also read the book One Brown Bunny this week.

brown bunny

bluemath

 

 

Art: Paper Mache Egyptian Tomb,  Ice Cube painting and painting with Blueberries

blue paintegy tomb

 

 

 

 

 

History and Social Studies/Geography: Ancient Egypt and The State of Connecticut.

At the Science museum the boys got to see artifacts from Egypt and did a scavenger hunt for certain items, dug for artifacts and made a boat to sail on the Nile River. We also went in the planetarium and watched a movie about polar bears and the arctic.

egypt scavegypt dignile

 

 

 

 

On our trip to the State Capitol building we toured with our homeschool hiker group. We were led through the building and heard about the tree branches of gvt. Saw the legislative office and House of Representatives office. We all took a turn in the “wish chair” in the Legislative office in which our tour guide said is a once in a life time opportunity, many do not get to sit in this chair, especially on a tour, since most days this room in is progress. (Luke said he wished for a turtle, Liam wished for our family to live / be together forever and I wished for our family to always be happy and healthy)

The building was beautiful, with stencils, statues and amazing architecture!

During dinner I printed out this quiz from the tour to see what Liam had learned/retained and he did excellent! All but two of the questions he knew! (even though he thought it was “a bit boring”)

We then headed over to Connecticut’s Old State House. This building was all historical highlights on Connecticut. We started in the Hands-On History center, where the kids could dress up in historical clothes, run a farmer’s market and go inside an old camp site.  The next floor featured History all around us, a few of the boys built a replica of the city following the coordinates on an over-sized floor map. We saw and engine from 1912 and tried on costumes, saw Twain’s Bike and did some interactive videos on the history of Hartford! Upstairs we toured the Senate and House rooms.

state housegstate hoouse a state house

St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning!

This week we chose to read St. Patrick’s Day in the morning and focus on St. Patrick’s Day.  I figured instead of doing two separate books this week, the boys would both share and enjoy this unit together and it’s easy enough for me to tweak the activities to each level. My youngest listened to the story and danced and viewed most of the videos we watched.

The story is set on an Irish countryside on St. Patrick’s day. A little boy struggles with being to small to walk in the parade. He sets out early in the morning to prove he is big enough and has his own parade through town where we meet neighbors and animals. “They say I’m too small- but what do they know”

st pat

History/Social Studies:

Who is St. Patrick?

Irish Potato famine.

Irish Folk Song : Bog Down in the Valley ( the boys loved this song)

National Geographic Kids: Irish Symbols, History and Geography

Continued study of Ancient Egypt: Studied Civilization and built a 3-D Pyramid

pyramid

Language Arts: Copywork of the Irish Blessing

Repetition: Discussed what phrase is repeated throughout the story and how does this personalize the main character?

Writing -Short Story: Tell about a time you felt or were told you were too small to do something. How did you feel? What did you do?

Copywork of a Limerick:  Note the AABA pattern

Health: Green Nature Walk and journal entry

Talking about being a “Cheerful Giver” (based on the story) How does it feel to receive/give?

Science:

Phys/Chem:  Atoms and Molecules. A look at how small Atoms are (ripping up foil into tiny bits as example) began Elements of the Periodic Table, starting with Hydrogen.hydrogen
Luke enjoyed looking at the table too, and pointed out the bullet train.
States of Matter: Then both boys took a turn as the conductor on a steam train, while learning how steam is made and the different parts of an engine, while solving a mystery! Really fun game!!

-Train Site Gametrain

per tablescience atom

List of Five Senses Used in the Story.  (younger) Ask what can you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell?

Math:

Continue on weekly math lessons

Unit Living/ Math:

Jelly Bean Graphing- (boy receives jelly beans at town sweet-shop)Give Range, Medium, Mode and Mean

liam mathlaim math a

Luke categorized by color.

luke math

Art: Colored the Irish Flag and had own parade around the house.

Field Trip: Birthday Trip to the Zoo this week!

luke zoobday zoo

The Magic Peach Unit

liam books

The Magic Peach by Janet Palazzo-Craig, a folktale from Japan that teaches admirable qualities. Peach Boy has many!

Go-Along Books: A-Z Japan, How’s the Weather?, Weather and Climate, World Atlas Book

Math: This week was combined with the topic of weather and so Liam did a Mathbooking Weather Journal! Words Worth Money Game- using a list of Good Qualities Peach boy. Money game for travel.words worthlaim math a 6X table copywork.

liam math

Language Arts: Japanese Picture Cards, Tanka and Haiku Poetry, Listing good qualities of Peach Boy, and one about himself. Japanese and English Words. The Tongue-Cut Sparrow folktale story. Read-Aloud this weeks story. Writing Japanese Kanji! Awesome Alliterations after our weather walk from Nature Detectives. kanji

Crafts/Art: Cherry Blossom Prints, Clay Model Shape of  Japan, Pipe Cleaner: Action and Expression Study, Noted; the boy looked strong, the parents looked tired and hard-working.

liam art

liam claymappipe studystudy ch

 

 

 

Health and Fitness: Yoga and a Wet Weather Walk

rain walk  rain walk a

 

 

 

 

We searched for things to add to our Awesome Alliteration Sheets! This is what Liam came up with:

Wet Walk-Broken Branches- Soaking Seeds-Slushy Snow- Under Umbrellas

 

Social Studies/History: Japanese Customs in the home, Religion in Japan, Animals, Buildings and Cities in Japan, Dress, Exports and Food of Japan. Government, History and Important People of Japan.

Geography: Land, Maps of Japan. Weather Maps.

Science/Nature: Weather Focus: Made a cloud Jar. Does a Peach Float? Cloud Experiment and journal sketch. Air and Air Pressure. Weather Forecasts!

liam cloudcloud typefloat peachrain cloud